The Billy is a breed of very large and active scenthound from France. With a dwindling population at present, this dog was extensively used as a pack dog for hunting purposes. They have a broad and tall structure with a large head, almond-shaped eyes, wide, floppy ears, light-colored nose, broad chest, sturdy legs and a long, thick tail.
|Also Known As||Chien de France-Comte (French)|
|Colors||Pure to off-white with patches of orange and lemon|
|Group (of Breed)||Hound, Scenthound|
|Weight||Males: 52 to 70 lb
Females: 52 to 70 lb
Male: 24 to 28 inches
Female: 23 to 24 inches
|Litter Size||3-8 puppies at a time|
|Personality Traits||Brave, loyal, intelligent, trainable, willful, social|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Good with Pets||Yes (if grows up with other dogs; not recommended for small pets)|
|Good for New/First-time Owners||No|
|Shedding||Average to less|
|Climatic Conditions||Cannot withstand cold temperatures|
|Country of Origin||France|
|Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information||FCI, UKC
The creation of the Billy Dog dates back to the 19th century in Central Western France by Monsieur Gaston Hublot de Rivault. They are a genetic combination of the presently extinct breeds – Montemboeuf, Ceris, and Larye. The fox blood was also mixed to keep the line fresh.
During this time, keeping large dogs by French monarchs was a fashionable thing, with Kings including Francois I and Louis XIV having scenthounds as their pets. The breed gets its name from the Chateau de Billy, which was the residence of de Rivault.
Just before the World War II, the entire pack of Billies had gone extinct, with only two individuals remaining. Later, de Rivault’s son Anthony added the Porcelaine, the Harrier, and the Poitevin strains to the bloodline to take a chance for the revival of the breed. The result was a success, and the dog survived, though it continued to remain rare like before.
In 1886, the breed standard of the Billy was first established. Interestingly, in the latter half of the 19th century, the Billy dog contributed to the foundation of another breed – the ‘Grand Anglo-Français Blanc et Orange’ dog.
The Billy dog has an elegant, loyal and obedient disposition. It would adhere to the service of its master and his family. Though they have a gentle and kind nature, owners have reported them to act contentious with its pack mates, and even with other non-canines if they get a chance. At times, it might get distracted on spotting a scent, and controlling it becomes extremely difficult if unleashed then.
Billies share a good rapport with children as well as other pets in the family when raised together. They have a friendly demeanor, in general, and would quickly mingle with strangers and guests, a trait that makes them a poor guard dog. Their inborn nature of staying active all day makes it less suitable for leading a confined life in the apartment.
It will need about 3 to 4 cups of dry dog food daily. Make sure, it is getting the appropriate nutrition, especially when it is growing up. You can also serve them raw meat, chicken, and semi-cooked fishes like herring or salmon.